Recently I took some video interviews for a non-profit promotional video. I’m not sure what it is about a camera that makes us all so nervous, but there wasn’t a soul I interviewed who didn’t cringe or fumble in front of it.
After reviewing the videos and clipping the ever-loving crap out of them, I realized that sometimes cutting out the “um”s and awkward pauses was actually killing the message. Worse, in some places it destroyed the entire emotion of the speaker’s message.
I was left with a problem: Do I remove the imperfections and make a crisp to the point video or do I leave in a percent of the stutters and pauses to breathe more life into the video.
I blame Toastmasters for my pickiness. Their Grammarian is set up every meeting to catch all the “um”s and “ah”s in a speech. Ever since then I’ve become hyper aware of how much, even in normal conversation, we use those “One Moment Please, Loading the Requested Information” noises.
In the end, as you might have suspected, I left a good chunk of the imperfections in. It made for a smoother and more conversational video. In fact, I would argue that if I had gone extreme in my video chopping I would have ended up with something that sounded like a techno music video waiting for some backdrop music.
Instead, because the videos remained very human, they came across as more compelling and engaging. You might say they were perfect in their imperfection.